Beginning with artist Reuben Paterson’s contribution of poppers bottles to the exhibition twisting, turning, winding, this panel discussion featuring Paterson, Mark Fisher (Body Positive) and Ricardo Menéndez March (Green MP), aims to examine the role of poppers in queer life, past, present, and future.
Previously widely available, poppers were scheduled as a prescription-only medication in March 2020. A decision that was met with disappointment and outrage from members of the queer community.
Reuben Paterson (Ngāti Rangitihi, Tūhourangi, Ngāi Tūhoe) is a dynamic artist known for his creations in glitter and diamond dust. The influence of Paterson’s Māori heritage is strong in his early works, which focused on kōwhaiwhai motifs. Drawing from both his Māori and Scottish ancestry Paterson combines traditional design with non-traditional media, reinvigorating and extending Māori expression.
Mark Fisher is the Executive Director of Body Positive. Body Positive is a peer support organisation, founded by and run for, all people living with HIV in New Zealand. Offering support services for people living with HIV, helping to break down isolation and building a sense of community, while advocating on behalf of people living with HIV at a national level.
Ricardo Menéndez March is an activist and politician who has been a Member of Parliament for the Green Party since 2020. He has been a community organiser and educator to end poverty, working at the frontlines alongside people on the benefit.